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[WIP][1.0.5]* RSS Visual Enhancements (RVE)

Realistically what would you prefer in RVE? -- choose one from each letter  

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  1. 1. Realistically what would you prefer in RVE? -- choose one from each letter

    • A) 1 main cloud layer, 1 cirrus layer (Medium/Compromise)
    • A) Low, Medium, High cloud layers (Heavy/Realistic)
    • B) Detail bias towards Land/Atmosphere visuals
    • B) Detail bias towards Orbit/Space visuals
    • C) Realism
    • C) Detail
    • C) CPU accessibility

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What is RVE? - A realism focused visual overhaul for RealSolarSystem mod and stock KSP.


Utilizing rbray's awesome EVE-overhaul and Scatterer to give NathanKell's RealSolarSystem mod realistic clouds, atmospheres and surface textures based on their real life counterparts.

Like RVE but can't hack RSS?  Check out Stock Visual Enhancements(SVE) a port of RVE's textures to stock-sized KSP by NHawks17


Screen shots below do NOT show the bugs that you may find in game, which can be visually game breaking when they occur

(basically don't expect results like these all the time).


Some recent changes - Scatterer render over clouds



SpaceStation16 - Recent changes to RVE (200-300km orbit)



Other Albums:



RVE in 60FPS (an older version of RVE)



Gif courtesy of u/delta-weeee


Current projects: Revisiting the planets & incorperating Scatterer waves into RSS

View all Imgur project albums


For some in-game play through footage using RVE check out MoHcTpoo's KSP RSS series:



This uses rbray's latest EVE overhauls, and as a result is frequently receiving his updates, this also means it is still very much a WorkInProgress and there are currently too many glitches in RSS to release fully yet, HOWEVER I'm providing the latest state of this EXPERIMENTAL and UNFINISHED project on Github for those who are willing to put up with the many visual glitches until official release.

Progress is slower here for the reasons stated above, so I thank you for your patience until I can get this into Release's and showcase :)

...we will get there eventually!!



Also Please tell me what you'd like to see and anything I've gotten wrong so far! This is for you, the RSS community! I'm just enjoying putting it together :D

You can get your hands on the latest experimental version of RVE but please understand and accept the above information


RVE 1.0.5* Project GitHub

Notes on Github repo:
[KSP 1.0.5] Linux64 branch contains textures likely too large for a win32 KSP install! (removed unused textures so may now work better on 32bit)
[KSP 1.0.4] Win32 branch has major texture size reductions and should be more playable on a 32bit install
[Ignore the master branch]
I also have repo's for older versions of RVE made for older version of KSP on my Github profile page


If reporting please state which version of RVE you're trying to run (i.e. Windows32 or Linux64)


  • KSP 1.0.4
  • RSS
  • EVEOverhaul (x86-EVE-Release.zip)
  • Scatterer
  • (No other cloud configs present in gamedata e.g. like in BoulderCo folder)



  •   PlanetShine
  •   WindowShine
  •   Distant object enhancements
           (for appropriate planet and skybox brightness)
  •   CameraTools



  •   Download RVE
  •   Install all required mods first
  •   Place all RVE folders from Zip into your Gamedata folder (overwriting)
  •   Place shared assets file into your KSP_data folder for RVE sun and lens flare (will break game in KSP 1.0.5, works in 1.0.4)
  •   Ignore .git and README.md looking files
  •   You need to go to launchpad/Runway before switching to craft in space
  •   Read known bug list
  •   Enjoy.. maybe.. :wink:


Current features include:

  • 4k Earth cloud detail (2k on Win32) with shadows
  • Earth Cirrus cloud layer with shadows
  • 4k Earth terrain texture (2k on Win32)
  • Scatterer incorperation (all visuals that come with scatterer, now including ocean shaders!)
  • City texture for day and night (Win32 optimized)
  • 4k Skybox export from space engine
  • Custom sunflare texture and fix for RSS


Current features do not currently include:

  • Other planets
  • Auroras
  • Planetary Rings
  • Low level high fidelity terrain textures
  • Normals/bump maps
  • Working underwater effects


Known bugs and fixes in current release:

  • Opaque blue earth from orbit:
    - Using tracking station to select orbiting vessels breaks EVE after game start
    fix: Alt+0 > terrain, apply. Or enter false value for ocean colour.
  • Flashing clouds from high orbits:
    - Camera settings that reduce z-fighting cannot currently be controlled in space
    fix: Alt+G, change scaledspace near camera to 10, and far camera from E07 to E09. (Note that VDS hull cameras reset this value when used)
  • No effects directly below:
    - EVE breaks when using the apply button in ScaledSpace
    fix: timewarp to dark side of Earth, Alt+0 > atmosphere, Apply.
  • Freeze on load or black space center screen
    - Memory limit = reached
    fix: reduce number of large mods, get ATM, get 64bit KSP
  • Other planets look horible/mushy textures
    -No work has been published yet with revamped planets other than Earth
  • Cities lights not visible from space
  • Low resolution sun texture
  • Varying quality of cloud texture edges in LEO
  • Cloud texture mirroring/repetition
  • Clouds darken too soon at terminators
  • Low FPS when flying not in space
  • Flickering clouds/ground textures in atmosphere and in space
  • Varying quality of city texture and obvious borders (linux64)
  • City texture obvious repetition (win32)
  • Weird water effects (especially if using latest scatterer waves
  • Low res/non-matching city night texture (linux64)
    - Working on a compromise for RSS scales; it's proving very challenging!
  • Terrain detail in ocean when viewed from orbit
  • Terrain detail doesn't make sense geographically or in any other way it just looks reasonable from a non-inquisitive eye, e.g. rivers may appear on mountains and cities
  • Atmosphere looks too high from orbit (fix coming)
  • Texture borders in space
  • Serious visual bugs in opengl/linux
  • Land areas may be falsely coloured from orbit
  • Probably others I've forgotten.. there's a lot!


Old version features (not representative of current release state):


Some of the current/in dev features include:

* : In current release

~: In Development/incomplete

>: Not yet under development but planned


  • Atmospheric colouring and haze layers (These layers give the globe a more realistic blue hue and add haze that increases the sense of scale; height and distance)
  • Alto&Strato 8k cloud layer (~5km) (now in one layer to reduce memory)
  • Cirrus clouds (~10km)
  • Shadows for clouds giving visual depth from orbit (Currently only scaled space)(Proper shadows coming soon)
  • 3D Shadows for voluemtrics and realistic shadow's at angles to come with Overhaul 9.3, hopefully.
  • Custom HiRes detail textures to give high detail in LEO even on a 10x kerbin.
  • Auroras
  • Reworked configs for all of rbrays awesome new features (inc. terrain wrapped day/night cities, and terrain settings for RSS.
  • Less blinding horizons ASL and orbit from stock.
  • Bright blue sky at lower altitudes; decreases with altitude realistically (0.2.2+)

-Mars 0.2.1 [Tested in 0.2.1 only]

  • Lower red/orange dusty troposphere layer.
  • Lower level clouds.
  • Mesospheric or noctilucent ice clouds (~80km).
  • Faint blue upper atmosphere 'blue haze'.
  • Dust storms

-Jupiter [Tested in 0.2.1 only]

  • Correct direction and speed (roughly) of Easterly Zones and Westerly Belts.
  • Possibly individually rotating big storm we all know and love.


  • Hexagon storm on N-Pole.
  • Accurate ring patterns.


  • To be included later.


  • Thick fast moving Venusian atmosphere blocking view of surface from orbit. ~Correct ground colours i.e. not purple (ground level stuff not in current release yet)

-Other planets

  • Additional layers for gas bodies >Neptune, *Uranus, ~Saturn & *Jupiter to better reflect their RL counterparts. *Rings for uranus,~saturn and >neptune to come, requires kittopiatech which was playing up recently so not included in 0.2.1


  • Colour map revamp to match all rocky moons IRL.

Overhaul of titan's atmosphere including its thick photochemical smog layer, bright exterior blue haze and low level methane clouds.
Accurate shape, height and colour maps for mars' moons Deiomos and Phobos (included in latest RSS)

Old ChangeLog:



- Initial Release, just Earth, many bugs, only some planet exteriors

- PQS cloud shadows removed until EVE Overhaul 9.3 (Terrain wrapped cloud shadows and realistic casting)


- All planet exteriors added

- Earth colours updated, based on apollo images

- RSS planet textures added/updated

- Earth PQS level stability tweaks

- Auroras added to Earth

- Changed Pluto texture

- Significantly lightened SS&PQS Land colour, balanced by reduced haze layers

- Introduced inverted fallOff power (Edge haze)

V0.2.1 - stable

- Updated to RSS 6.3 pre-release

- DL file archive fixed

- Fixed missing Uranus and pluto

- Removed all unnecessary files

- Rescaled textures correctly to prevent unintentional upscaling (thanks nathankell)

- Redundant Earth normal map temporarily removed

- Removed glitchy statosphere layer until EVE O9.3 is released with atmospheric shader

- Increased falloff rate of earth haze layers

- Fixed and updated missing Venus textures

- Fixed missing Pluto texture

- Added second haze layer to earth, brighter, sharper edge

- Rebalanced PQS/SS haze, still desperately waiting on Overhaul 9.3 atmosphere shader

V0.2.2 Dev/Testing

- Updated RSS config to 7.3

- Added blue haze to earths terminators

- Pushed horizon edge haze back in SS to better mimic haze in LEO (2D fake haze layers still look ugly, especially in PQS/ground level)

- Added experimental 'global land detail' texture to ScaledSpace, now looks much higher quality from LEO (Waiting on full biome based texture control)

- Added incomplete 8k Vagas city day&night textures (not yet tiled, very obvious at seems)

- Added new ocean texture and rebablanced ocean colour

- Added global ocean sun reflection in ScaledSpace

- Added brightness and shapness haze to the Moon to make it look more realistic from afar

- Rolled back to older terrain.dll at the cost of no bump maps to remove several obvious glitches

- Adjusted global ocean and land colour and contrast

- Added experimental PQS terrain shader texture

- Reduced ESun power of AFG nodes and altered multiply and radius

- Mars not working

- Most planets untested other than earth and the moon

- Very unfinished city and land textures

- Still has ugly 2D layer horizon lines

- No bump map

- Probably many other bugs; this is simply where I'm at at the moment, just so you guys can play about with the new SS texture i.e. NOT A FULL OR STABLE RELEASE!


Hanging on loading bar, freezing in game? You're probably at the memory limit, this is a very CPU intensive mod atm. You'll need to get either KSP 64bit and/or ActiveTextureManager [Agressive Mode] to bring it back within limits, or reduce the number of mods being run along side RVE (ATM aggressive will significantly reduce all texture sizes and converts to DDS making loading times waaay faster)


I couldn't have got this far at all without the help or work of others: SpacedInvador for his work on getting planets natively into RSS without PF, TheSonicGalaxy, who's been sharing some of his 
techniques with EVE, also erona, proot and needless to say rbray and NathanKell for their tireless awesomeness in the world of KSP! And now also Blackrack for getting some truly stunning atmosphere shaders in KSP! And to all those who have helped with ideas, suggestions and bug reports so far, and in the future!

Licence: CC-BY-NC-SA

Edited by pingopete
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Nice, just what I need. One suggestion: if it wouldn't be too much of a hassle, consider adding support for the metaphor's RSS + Planet Factory config (obviously not a priority, just something to consider adding once you achieved a release version for standard RSS).

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Nice, just what I need. One suggestion: if it wouldn't be too much of a hassle, consider adding support for the metaphor's RSS + Planet Factory config (obviously not a priority, just something to consider adding once you achieved a release version for standard RSS).

I've actually been working with it for this config, eventually for the next stock RSS version, which if iirc will change all planets to the real solar system's anyway

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thanks, hopefully the deserts wont be a gross mint tea colour with atmospheres.

EDIT: unfortunately removing the transparent alpha areas (land) made the land as shiney as the oceans :/ Although it did help smooth out the bump map ridges.

Edited by pingopete
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Wooo! thanks C: I could probably get a version up tonight if you really wanted, but it'd just be earth, and may have all the glitches accossiated with overhaul8/RSS?

I'd really like that as well. I'm planning on starting a new save with a lot of the hardmode mods, I expect it'll take me several real life weeks before I get to anything other than Earth that has an atmosphere, so I wouldn't mind that it is just Earth for now.

Even if there are glitches your screenshots look awesome, I love the detail textures from LEO!

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I've been wondering for a little while if it would be possible to split cloud layers into their easterly (trade wind) and westerly (anti-trade) components. (And all the other fun segments of the atmosphere... polar vortices down to the doldrums.) It's something that's less noticeable on Kerbin, with its alien airflow patterns, but on Earth always having all clouds heading in the same direction just looks... off. Especially from geosync.

Due to memory and hardware limitations we can't go too overboard (and include the various transfer zones, swirling storm systems (I'm not unconvinced Eve couldn't simulate cloud rotation), etc), but I'd be willing to sacrifice other resources just to have the mid-latitudes move differently than the poles and equator.

Of course doing this isn't just a straight-up cut and paste. If working from the various high-res cloud cover satellite captures that are available (blue marble, NOAA, etc), someone would need to carefully snip around storm systems so there isn't a sharp transition at the edge of the layer. My few feeble attempts have looked choppy, but I've little to no time these days to improve them.

Just trying to plant a seed in the mind of someone with more free time than myself.....


Random thoughts aside, what you've got so far looks absolutely fantastic. Just adding a (somewhat higher than) cirrus layer to the default cloud set and using better detail textures make all the difference. Everything beyond that is delicious gravy.

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Cydonian Monk: Indeed it would:

I'd never thought of alternating directions/speeds relative to equator, that could be interesting. I did however spend 6 hours slowly slicing up an 8k earth cloud coverage map into cumulus, alto, and stratus layers as best I could, the main reason being so I could have varying detail textures for cumulus, altostratus and cirrus. In the end however the reality of memory budgets meant I had to use just one for all lower layers and one for cirrus; On RSS any cloud layer less than 8k looks very smudgy from LEO. I sort of had to make a compromise of visual appearance and practicality.

As it is all cloud layers also have a second shadow layer (also 8k) I felt this was quite important for the realistic feel from orbit, giving the atmosphere some depth, my lower alto/cumulus layer also has an additional shadow layer for volumetrics so that's already 5 8k layers, plus 3 atmosphere layers sadly begins to take its toll in the form of frequent memory crashes :'(

However, the idea of say one equatorial layer and 2 (could be one layer but divided at equator) N/South cloud layers with slightly greater eastward velocity to the equatorial, might be a possibility. This could at least give the impression of the Coriolis effect/conservation of angular momentum north&southwards from equator. I'll have to give it a try, it could look pretty cool.

Although to date, the majority of my time has been spent trying to remove the seemingly endless arguments between RSS & EVE, and PQS & ScaledSpace.

..Working with a test dev version of EVE does/and doesn't help :P

Also, thanks for planting seeds, this is exactly what I wanted from this thread, community participation :) Oh and the cirrus layer is actually at just 10.5km

Edited by pingopete
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